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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 17, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

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the pleasure of working with. after months of discussion, my lawyer and i talked about it. after months of discussion, my lawyer and i talked about it. we could put them into a tailspin, he believes i had the oliver north case long before oliver north knew that there was a case. it was not going to solve the problem. i went into court knowing that there would be troubles. it would be impossible for nixon
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to abolish this whole office if it went back to the department of justice given those terms. i did, i went into court with cox. this is something to determine beforehand. they had the famous press conference where he refuses the request for the tapes. i did not think nixon was going to prevail in the long run. as it turned out, the saturday night massacre proved to be part of the reason that he fell when he did. he misplayed it, misjudged it, and cox really decided to pull the rip cord on how they deal with him.
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>> not only were you dealing with john dean, you are also taking extraordinary steps to preserve evidence in case president nixon tried to abort the investigation. tell us about the intense weeks. tell us about the garbage. >> two unrelated stories. as we discussed in the office what was going to happen and if the president refused. the watergate trial team had taken home copies of all the key evidence and each of us had taken briefcases home each night for at least a week. had the evidence that in case the president took extraordinary measures, they would be able to do something. the grand jury testimony is secret.
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we felt we needed to protect the case. we had taken things home and i was burglarized shortly after the press conference. the first place i looked was the attic where i had put away my documents. those were untouched. reporter asked the press secretary for the white house whether the plumbers had broken into my house. they said no, but and you say it wasn't the washington post? actually, the washington post had taken our garbage. [laughter] >> it is a service we provide. >> thank you. we were putting it out in clear plastic bags. we weren't even concealing our garbage and their officers were
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not far from ours. one morning i woke up. nowadays, you say you don't put anything in writing you don't want to see on the news. you didn't expect draft documents you have torn up. i saw a memo i had written. it was real, they had the draft. they were picking up our garbage. so we started shredding. >> that was not under the byline, right? >> no. >> describe how the white house on the eve of the deadline, only days left, how did they try to ram through the compromise? >> john dean was in the office
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so much with numerous task forces and giving them information. as a journalist, i was thinking if the press knew that this guy was walking around, it was unbelievable. it was a coke machine, this machine owes me $.25, john d. [laughter] >> make sure he gets that. >> cox and richardson were talking, he mentioned john stennis. the office knew that he might be the monitor or whatever. he has described all considerations. what we didn't know is that stennis had already been on board. he had agreed to do this because
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he was going to have the help of an old loyal friend. he had been on his staff at one point, counsel to the president of the united states. he was going to help cox -- i mean stennis translate this stuff. even though we were taking precautions like making copies of stuff and that sort of thing, i was really kind of blindsided. it was a three-day holiday weekend in the fall, perfect for leaf-peeping, etc.
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no one in town -- they called the white house press corps and said they had a compromise. they said that cox would not seek any more tapes. it sounded like a three-way compromise. the prosecution force and the white house, the only people that knew anything about it were the people at the white house holding this press briefing. the only way we found out was that we called the los angeles times washington bureau and said, what is going on? we had no clue. they said that we have word on the compromise. we had to do two things. tight deadlines.
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we had to make clear to the press that archibald cox had major reservations about this that went to what the court would require. then we had to get through that to all of the roadblocks it would raise. we were successful getting a short cox statement into the first round of the news cycle. and then, also successful in announcing, thanks to john barker who was in the room and several others. we got to the press club and announced archie cox was going
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to hold a news conference. important as pretty much anything those weeks. i felt terrific about it because we were shorthanded like everyone. it was late and they had managed the news cycle. the government always does that late friday night. i felt good when the next day's paper had the story about the compromise and it said in the headline "cox defiant." >> we will see that in a minute. it was this pressure cooker environment that archibald cox takes a long and lonely walk from the offices on k street to this building at the national press club. that is where the title of the book comes from. i wanted to read this excerpt because i went with them to retrace the steps.
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for me, it is one of the most special parts of the book. a government car was supposed to drive archie and others to the national press club. it got lost in the confusion and never arrived. let's walk, archie said. they never allow the staff to see him upset. on this saturday, his face looked lifeless. through mcpherson square, they glanced momentarily at the white house glinting under the october sky. the president of the u.s. sat inside thinking strategy and waiting for the press conference. would this tour the country into more of a confused state?
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it was a crisp, sunny day. they had turned orange and rainbows, chili and yellow in anticipation of another bleak winter. archie used the time to compose himself. for me, it was not an easy trip to make. there was no doubt that he had to insist on compliance with the court order. he had a duty to adhere to the terms of the departmental order to which he had been appointed. going eyeball to eyeball with the president of the united states scared him. who was he to defy challenging the president of the united states? too much seemed to be expected of him. one of the reasons that he loved his job was he had heard it called the conscience of government. the staff and washington
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newspapers and democratic senators and others expected him to stand up and represent the conscience of the american people. womanuld anyone man or service the conscience of a nation? they couldn't. the only hope he thought to himself placing one shoe in front of another was arousing the conscience in each citizen, lost in grand marble edifices. maybe the government would eventually respond. but how did one do this? he had no idea. the walk to the club seemed to last an eternity. i don't know how i ever got there, cox said. it was only with my wife's help. if we can, let's watch a clip of what took place right here at
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the national press club. >> this is a special report from cbs news in washington. here is cbs correspondent nelson benton. >> archibald cox is holding a news conference to discuss the president's action last night on the watergate tapes. the white house announcing that rather than appealing to the supreme court to turn the tapes over, it would provide a summary of the tapes to cox and the watergate committee. having unlimited access to verify the completeness and the accuracy of the summary. he interpreted that as a refusal to obey the decree of the court that violated the solemn ledge
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he made to the senate as a special prosecutor. he said last night that he would have more to say a little bit later on. and in this setting today, archibald cox would have more to say. we see him coming to the press club ballroom with mrs. cox. we watch and listen. >> i read in one of the newspapers this morning, the headline "cox defiant." i have to say that i don't feel defiant. i told my wife i hate a fight. some things i feel deeply about are at stake and i hope i can explain and defend them steadfastly.
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i am not looking for a confrontation. i have learned a great deal in my life without the problems of him posing too much strain on constitutional institutions. i am certainly not out to get the president of the united states. i am merely worried that i am getting too big for my britches. what i see as principal could be vanity. i hope not. in the end, i decided that i need to stick to what i thought was right. >> you would seem to be in what we call a nonviable position. are you going to wait for the president to dismiss you? >> i'm going to go about my duties on the terms on which i assumed them. >> when and why did elliott richardson and you decide to
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resign, rather than fire cox? >> watching that press conference, in the attorney general's office at the justice department. we had discussed this sort of pleadingly before. the day before this press conference, elliott and his assistants were discussing what the likely outcome of the white house's response to the special prosecutor's request would be. it seemed that the likelihood then was that the president would ask elliott and me to discharge cox. we said what are you going to do if you ask that? they looked at me and said what are you want to do? i said i don't think there is any set of conditions under which it is possible to discharge cox.
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it didn't seem a hard decision to me. elliott and i had testified in being confirmed before the senate that we would only discharge cox for extraordinary impropriety. the phrase was used in our testimony. not only had he not, in all of the dealings with both of them, had any extraordinary impropriety, he had pursued his duties in the most appropriate way possible. there was no ground for discharging him. we both said no. we wouldn't do it. >> incidentally, someone asked me, can you clear the historical record. were you fired or did you resign? >> i will tell you. the night of the massacre, i was fired. the next monday, the president
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announced my resignation had been accepted. whichever one you like better. [laughter] >> another question, robert bork was vilified by many for doing the deed of firing cox. he in you both believed bork was in a different moral position, and encouraged him to carry out nixon's order. bob bork's son is here. can you tell us, is that accurate? did you encourage bob? >> it is accurate. he had not been confirmed when this was going on. it was much earlier in the trouble. it didn't come up. he was the third one in the written chain of command in the white house to carry out orders of the kind we were going to receive.
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after him there was nobody. the president could have appointed anybody to take that role. we told bob that if he could see it within his conscience do so, we would state that he was in a different condition than we were, and we would support his decision. which we did. >> the machinery of government has to continue. >> the institution of the department was in trouble. it was shaken to the foundation by what had happened. there were fbi agents surrounding both of our offices. they surrounded the special prosecutor's office. the institutions of government were in trouble. it would have a certain stabilizing effect is what we thought. >> can you describe the scene at the special prosecution had
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that night? >> of course, it was a scene of tremendous emotions. a lot of anger. also, a deeper emotion than that. i remember, first of all, it is a saturday night of the long weekend. everyone came back to the office. some people came from short distances, and some from long distances. there are stories about that. we got back and we got into the office without any trouble. the staff, many very young, it could have been a kind of a rock concert type thing, except for the mood. we had these young folks. the mood was incredibly tough. one of the things the white
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house -- the fbi did, we had an agent who had worked with us from day one. he was, the staff of the world of him. he was terrific. he was home that night putting up sheet rock in his basement. he had vacation. he got called to go down to the prosecutor's office. do not let anyone remove anything. he couldn't believe it. he came down in a daze. people were coming in. we had a prosecutor named phil bates. a kind of a big guy. he was a tough guy. he said, what are you doing here?
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don't make it hard on us. we were just told only anybody take anything out. i remember one of the young attorneys had a newspaper under his arm. one of the other fbi guys said i have to inspect that. he threw it at him. there was that kind of story. finally, hank ruth got there. he made the comment at a news conference of this reminded him of seven days in may. i remember there were many comments like that. no one was going to take anything out. jill had put all her stuff in the attic two days earlier.
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all the watergate people had done the same thing in a timely way. it was in mailing -- i wish i could remember more of the comments. i do remember one which took place. george asked what are you going to do? we thought this was an incredible trumped up press conference. this whole thing had been planned. i said i'm going to go home. after leon came aboard, there were probably two or three letters from the white house saying this person is not appropriate anymore on your staff. in each case, leon took them and gave them to the person without comment. mine was from ziegler. it said this guy is a bad guy, and he went to a good detail.
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i think jill will have her own memories of that. >> can you tell us where you saturday night? and what do you recall about meeting with cox the next day? >> on saturday after the press conference, i was in discussion with the rest of the trial team. i was taking a rare day off to go to a family wedding in new york. i said i can't leave. something might happen. everybody said, what can happen? he would have to fire the attorney general, and he is not going to do that. go ahead. i got on the shuttle and went to new york. this is the days before cell phones. i went to the wedding. i got back to the hotel at midnight. the desk clerk jumped over the front desk to hand me a message from george frampton. the fbi has seized our offices.
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return immediately. i got on the first plane in the morning and came back. we were discussing, should we resign in protest. this is a horrible thing. we should make a stand. archie was very adamant in saying no. unless he makes you not able to do your job, you have to stay. you owe it to the american people. you have the knowledge. it would take time for anyone else to get up to speed with where you are. you must stay. he was speaking out of pure integrity, and his philosophy. we decide we would stay. we had been abolished. sometimes it is in the record that we weren't really abolished. we were reestablished a few days later.
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i assumed we really were abolished. we stayed in decided we would continue the case. >> let me ask you. the outside of the special prosecutor's office, the public reaction has been described as a firestorm of protest. why was the public reaction so intense to the firing of archibald cox? and the resignation of richard -- richardson? >> that is an easy question to answer, but because nixon, a pro, got it wrong, it can't be that easy. the public thought that the law was being obstructed by the president, and they took the law seriously. the public saw one honorable person. he talks about duty, carrying out his responsibilities. he doesn't show vanity.
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in a world of phonies, a world of people playing games. they saw one honorable person. i do not know how much of it was the law, and how much of it was the sense of integrity that he reflected. there was a feeling out of the jimmy stewart movie, -- "mr. smith goes to washington." that they were watching decency confront washington. they wanted to be on the side of decency. decency is close to the right word. >> another angelo story, when the next attorney general came in, who then became a fellow judge on the panel.
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his name is in my confused lobes. he became attorney general. he was sent in to question him. he walked in, and he introduced himself. he read the new attorney general his rights from one of those maranda things. >> the office was shut down. he was supposed to continue the investigation. did you worry that president nixon was going to escape unscathed? >> i think there was initial fear that might happen. things were happening so fast that we didn't really have time to even think about that. three days later, he said he would give us the tapes and he appointed a new special prosecutor. we really believed that once we had the tapes, that is what actually happen. that we would have an invincible
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case against the president. you cannot listen to those tapes and not know that the president is guilty. we felt pretty sure quickly that he would not escape unscathed, and that we would prevail. >> bob woodward. the aftermath of the saturday night massacre. one immediate result is impeachment resolutions being drawn up against president nixon. another result is the appointment of this new special prosecutor, who subpoenas dozens of tapes, leading to the landmark decision of the supreme court that says the president must turn over the tapes. no person is above the law. in your classic book, you interviewed many of the justices and others about that decision. specifically, was it difficult? there were nixon appointees. was it difficult to write that
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decision, that they must have known would lead to next and -- two nixon being ousted from office. >> it is a complex case. the chief justice is listed in the opinion as the author. it turns out that the other justices essentially took the opinion away from him. i'm sure this never happens in the supreme court now. look at the poker face over there. no reaction. [laughter] literally, rehnquist recused himself. he worked for john mitchell. the other seven justices took sections of the opinion away from warrenberger. the key to the opinion is the section that justice weight to
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-- justice white took. which literally says that if someone has evidence that might be relevant, might be admissible in court, it should be turned over. that was the foundation of that opinion. one quick thing, because bob bork is not around. i mentioned to you, he published a short memoir. it is about 1/10 the size of your book on archie cox. in the memoir that his wife and family published is modestly titled "saving justice."
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in it, he says some things that i think are not in the record, that should be known. the white house, particularly hague, try to get before the bus stopped with cox, to get bob bork to be nixon's lawyer. he was 90% of the way there. when you take all of this, that would have changed history, and he may have defended nixon better. but the real hail here is, who is nixon? who was this guy who did all of these things on the tapes? the idiocy of firing your prosecutor. that is why it reverberated with the public. nixon is being investigated. he fired the person who is looking into his behavior.
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right after bork fired cox, he went to the white house. he went to see nixon. the first words out of next his , and this tells you so much about nixon, he said to bork, "when the next vacancy to the supreme court comes open, it is yours." >> a very telling comment indeed. let me ask phil hyman, what is the significance of u.s versus nixon? what is the significance? >> it gives an answer to the question that was perplexing cox in the days before the saturday night massacre.
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where would the people stand, and where would the court stand on the question of the illegality of actions by a major political figure? there is nobody more major than the president of the united states. cox didn't know where the people would stand. he was cautious going ahead with the case that might lead to the president to ignore the supreme court. nixon lined it up beautifully. he could see earlier what was there. if the president got stennis to
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agree, it will be difficult to fail to agree. they were democratic and republican leaders on the senate committee. if they went along, and elliot richardson went along, cox would be isolated. the president got 4-5 steps down that route. he got into trouble when he got to elliot richardson. how did he make that mistake? you said that elliot firmed up his conclusions the day before. >> that is what we ask one another. if it were to come to that, it seems clear that that was the only choice you had. it wasn't a hard decision. it was the only choice you had. >> y'all have been extraordinarily patient.
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we would like to open it to you. i would like to ask each of you, brief impressions. what is the impact of the saturday night massacre, looking back on it 40 years? the lasting imprint on our system of laws and government? >> oh, boy. i am the only non-attorney, which is how i survived. archie cox never tore up one of my briefs. there were no briefs. it was a bright moment in the history of our country, and the history of the 20th century, because there were a number of people like richardson and ruckelshaus in every branch.
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in every branch there were people who showed integrity, industry. they worked hard, imagination, and together the three branches worked this thing out and away that i think worked extremely well for the country. you know, because one of the things that caused watergate is the nixon administration, the committee elected, was awash in money. awash in it. when gordon liddy goes to macgruder, and they say we need $1 million for project gemstone, they had to settle for half $1 million. money is awash in everything now.
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that is discouraging. the first thing that annoyed me and then later discouraged me was when jimmy carter became president, during the second nixon administration, bill safire had gone to the new york times as a columnist. he was the preeminent wordsmith of his time. if the early carter administration when billy carter did soemthing -- it was billygate. it was nannygate. it was lancegate. that took off, and became part of the literature. safire said i had a guilty conscience.
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if you look at what is going on in washington, and has been for the last two weeks, poisonous is the atmosphere. that is not much of a progress. i have a mixed bag of it. >> how about you? >> like jim. i have a feeling a lot hasn't changed. some things were made pretty clear. one was what bothered cox, the court will be listened to, and a powerful political demand to support its decisions, even against elected presidents. it was certainly a triumph of political support for the court. the other is the thing i mentioned. there was a sense in which we
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saw the political power of integrity. i suppose if we went around washington talking about the political power of integrity, i would get two blocks from her before i was committed. [laughter] but it was powerful. it was powerful because people could see that he was standing up for something they understood, and he believed was right. they couldn't tell who was right. cox or nixon. they could tell that he believed it was right, and he was trying to do what he believed was right. people live their lives trying to do what they think is right. when somebody tries to stamp on that, the world came to an end, not the stampee. >> before i answer, i am from illinois.
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we have a special wing of prison for our governors. i am not sure if i am the one to talk about how it has changed. i do think that watergate was a perfect storm. we had a unique set of circumstances that led to the outcome. i am hopeful that that would never happen again. it is important to know that everyone on the staff really was not out to get the president. we were out to do a job. we were professional prosecutors. we were letting the evidence take us where would. unfortunately, although i was raised to respect the office of the president, and was horrified when i heard the tapes, and saw the other evidence, i think we all came to the conclusion that the only outcome was what happened. the grand jury, how brave they
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had been, not just in terms of what they did in terms of the subpoena, but the amount of time they gave to america in serving on the grand jury, and their decision to indict the president, something we had to come before the grand jury and explain why they shouldn't do it. it was a debate within the office. many of us have grown up to be more mature and think leon was right. at the time we were convinced that he should be indicted along with his colleagues for the same acts that they had done. in terms of the most important impact, the campaign finance reform was the most important. that has been undone. this would never have happened if they hadn't been washington -- awash in money. they wouldn't have wasted the money on a break-in.
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they had so much, they didn't have to make an analysis of whether it was worth doing. we still do not know what they thought they would get. they had too much money. we need to get the money out of politics again. >> you must have a great perspective on the impact. >> i think it wasn't just that they had too much money. that was a factor. it was a mindset. it was get the dirt on the opposition. it was nixon who said it best. the day he resigned, he had gone on television the night before and said he was going to resign, and the day of the resignation he called friends, cabinet members, staff to the east room of the white house. this was covered live on television. nixon had no script.
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it was nixon raw. he was sweating and had his wife. he talked about his mother, and his father, and people who knew him well were worried he was going to go around the bend because of the stress. this is the paradox of nixon. he waved his hand, like this is why i called you all here. he said the following. "always remember others may hate you. those who hate you do not win unless you hate them, then you destroy yourself." think of how that summarizes it. the "it" is hate. he realized that was the piston driving his administration.
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as you get to as i have the presidents after nixon, ford through obama. you look at what is driving them. what is the id. it is different in each case. they all can be criticized. as best i can tell, nixon is unique. the driver, and what people perceived who were working on the case, the house judiciary committee, people in the media, this intense hate. believe it or not, i do not think we have -- we have awful things going on our politics, but they are not as bad as what
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when on in the nixon years. >> let me make it quick. the rule of law prevailed. it was clear that as our country believes, and as we have told ourselves, no man is above the law. what happened during watergate proved that, at least for that case. the second thing, in my view, much more profound, the watergate itself gave rise to an ever accelerating erosion of trust in basic institutions. it started with the vietnam war. it was given a big push by the watergate, and it has gone on ever since. sometimes very small scandals
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some things not even scandals at all, blown up. but we have seen the last several weeks asking people do you trust the congress, it is double or twin digits. all institutions are affected. free societies don't work well unless people have faith in their basic institutions. how do you restore that faith is difficult. we are dealing with extremely complex problems that are subject to conspiracy theories. here we had a big conspiracy involving the president of the united states. we're still suffering from that. i think all of us have got to see that anytime that you offhandedly knock one of our
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institutions, you better be careful. those institutions are very important to the future of freedom. [applause] >> before we depart, i would like to invite justice briar to come up to the podium. >> i work with this document. i work with the constitution. you put this -- it is amazing. i see it quite often. it about what you heard in light of this document. in parts of it, freedom of the press. an essential part. the independent judiciary. people appointed went along with decisions that would ruin president nixon. an independent judiciary -- grand jury. there it is. that is what you are working with.
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i wrote a couple down here. the right to petition. what happened after archie gave his talk? you saw those telegrams. the senate oversight. the congress overseeing the executive branch. that is called the separation of powers. impeachment, an escape valve not used, but the presence solve the problem. how do we know the president was going to go along with this? maybe he will just write a letter. dear judge, i am very sorry. i can't do it. i have reasons. who is going to appeal? archie won. i asked that to charlie wright. i put the conversation to him
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years later. why didn't you? he said we thought of it. but we couldn't. we couldn't do it. we couldn't do it. maybe he's talking for himself, maybe he is exaggerating. maybe he was hopeful that what president nixon was thinking. they didn't do it. they followed the legal route. that is what is the most important thing of all, to me. the rule of law held. it was flexible enough to deal with this. the rule of law held. i see it in other circumstances, too. [applause] >> thank you justice breyer. archibald cox passed away in 2004. he was 92 years old.
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his family has been supportive of this. melissa is archie's granddaughter. i want to say, he was so proud of her. she went to harvard law school and decided not to practice law, and be a law professor instead. thank you very much for coming. [applause] also, elliot richardson became a good friend and mentor for me in working on the book, he passed away over a decade ago. much of his family is here today. we are pleased. i would like him to stand, henry richardson. [applause] daughter nancy carlson. [applause] son michael richardson.
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[applause] and i was pleased to learn that elliott's granddaughter is here, who was named eliot elle richardson. [applause] one of the toughest things about putting together this program, so many famous members of the prosecution force we could've had. we couldn't do that for obvious reasons. many of the special prosecution force has come tonight. they are having a reunion of their own on saturday in d.c. would like all of the members to please stand and be recognized for your are marketable efforts. -- remarkable efforts. [applause]
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finally, let me say that part of the reason and the impetus for this important retrospective was really to honor three public servants. archibald cox, elliot richardson, and bill ruckelshaus who did as justice breyer said, what was right, and gave a lasting gift of this nation in preserving the rule of law, unless in the leaders in washington today and in the future should learn from. can we show our appreciation for these three public servants of unmatched integrity? [applause]
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>> thank you for coming to this event. if you are on the list for the private reception, please proceed to the restaurant. thank you for being part of this history. thank you to our panelists for an outstanding event. thank you to ken, who did all the hard work. [applause] we are adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> coming up, a look at the deal passed in the house and senate to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. we hear from president obama in the white house. followed by defense secretary chuck hagel on the impact on the
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military. house minority leader nancy pelosi on upcoming negotiations. >> a peace conference on syria has been scheduled for mid- november in geneva. it is likely -- groups will attend. by friday, a discussion of the moderate opposition from the johns hopkins school of international studies. 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. friday, remarks by actor and gay-rights activist george takei. you can see this live from the national press love at 1:00 eastern on c-span. film aspeople think of stories that you see in theaters. the truth is that film, cinema is a much rudder carried great -- category.
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the movies you see in theaters are only a small part of the total national world production of films. when you begin to broaden out and look at these poorly , you are ablems to get a much broader sense of what our country's history is. >> i think in the neighborhood of 200,000 educational films were produced in the united states. ,hey range from works of art consciously produced as films with some sort of special production value and creativity, to tremendously banal films about how to brush your teeth or how to ask for a date. the value of educational films aday is that they are tremendous documentation of how they wanted young americans to turn out. they show us what we were supposed to be. >> now that the soup is served,
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the crackers are passed. floyd passes the crackers to dorothy before he hopes himself. should he have helped himself first or not? >> a rare glimpse at american life from the 1920's through 1960's from the archives. sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts. as the federal employees return to work, president obama spoke about the bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. the bill was passed in the house and senate to fund the government through january 15 and raise the debt limit through february 7. these remarks are 20 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. please have a seat. night, i signed legislation
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to reopen our government and pay america's bills. democrats and responsible republicans came together. the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over. the first default in more than 200 years will not happen. these twin threats to our economy have now been lifted and i want to thank those democrats and republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done. now, there has been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. let's be clear. there are no winners here. these last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. we don't know yet the full scope of the damage but every analyst out there believes it has slowed our growth. we know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on. we know that potential homebuyers have gotten fewer
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mortgages and small business loans have been put on hold. we know that consumers have cut back on spending and that half of all ceos say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months. we know that just the threat of default of america not paying all the bills that we owe on time, increased our borrowing costs. that adds to our deficit. that the, we know american people's frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher. that is not a surprise. the american people are completely fed up with washington. moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we have got yet another self-inflicted crisis
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that sent our economy back. for what? economic rationale for all of this. over the past four years, our economy has been growing. our businesses have been creating jobs. our deficit has been cut in half. we hear some members say they were doing it to save the american economy, but nothing has done more to undermine this economy in the past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises. and you don't have to take my word for it. the agency that put america's credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy remains more dynamic and resilient than other advanced economies and that the only thing putting us at risk is --
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and i'm quoting here -- repeated brinksmanship. that's what the credit rating agency said. that wasn't a political statement. that was an analysis of what's hurting our economy, by people whose job it is to analyze these hings. that has -- that also has to be the view of the diplomats who have been hearing this internationally. some those who pushed for shutdown claimed their actions were needed to get america back on the right track, to make sure e're strong. but probably nothing has done more damage to america's credibility in the world, our standing with other countries than the spectacle that we've seen these past several weeks. it's encouraged our enemies. it's emboldened our competitors
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and it's depressed our friends who look to us for steady eadership. now, the good news is we'll bounce back from this. we always do. america is the bedrock of the global economy for a good reason. we are the indispensible nation that the rest of the world looks to as the most safest and reliable place to invest. something that's made it easier for generations of americans to invest in their own futures. we have earned that responsibility over more than two centuries because of the dynamism of our economy and our entrepreneurs, the productivity of our workers, but also because we keep our word and we meet our obligations. that's what full faith and credit means. you can count on us. and today i want our people and our businesses and the rest of the world to know that the full
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faith and credit of the united states remains unquestioned. but all my friends in congress understand that how business is done in this town has to change. because we've all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the american people and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust. our system of self-government doesn't function without it. and now that the government has reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of americans sent us here to do and that's grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the
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foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long aul. that's why we're here. that should be our focus. now, that won't be easy. we all know that we have divided government right now. there's a lot of noise out there, and the pressure from the extremes affect how a lot of members of congress see the day-to-day work that's supposed to be done here. and let's face it, the american people don't see every issue the same way. that doesn't mean we can't make progress. and when we disagree we don't have to suggest that the other side doesn't love this country or believe in free enterprise or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single ear. if we disagree on something, we
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can move on and focus on the things we agree on and get some tuff done. let me be specific about three places where i believe we can make progress right now. first, in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget. the budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further. at the beginning of this year, that's what both democrats and republicans committed to doing. the senate passed a budget. the house passed a budget. they're supposed to come ogether and negotiate. and had one side not decided to pursue a strategy of brinksmanship, each side could have gotten together and figured out, how do we shape a budget
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that provides certainty to businesses and people who rely on government, provide certainty to the investors and our economy and we'd be growing faster right now. now, the good news is the legislation i signed yesterday now requires congress to do exactly that. what it could have been doing all along. and we shouldn't approach this rocess of creating a budget as an ideological exercise, just cutting for the sake of cutting. the issue is not growth versus fiscal responsibility. we need both. we need a budget that deals with the issues that most americans are focused on, creating more good jobs that pay better wages. and remember, the deficit is getting smaller, not bigger. it's going down faster than it as in the last 50 years.
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the challenge we have right now are not short-term deficits. it's the long-term obligations that we have around things like medicare and social security. we want to make sure those are there for future generations. so the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don't need, close the corporate tax loopholes that don't create jobs and freeze up resources for the things that do help us grow, like education and infrastructure and research and these things historically have not been partisan. and this shouldn't be as difficult as it's been in past years because we already spend less than we did a few years ago. our deficits are half what they ere a few years ago. the debt problems we have now are long term, and we can address them without shortchanging our kids or
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shortchanging our grandkids or weakening the security that current generations have earned from their hard work. so that's number one. number two, we should finish fixing the job of our -- let me say that again. number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. there's already a broad coalition across america that's behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform. from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement. in fact, the senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support that would make the biggest commitment to border security in our history, would modernize our legal immigration system, make sure everyone plays by the same rules, make sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay
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a fine, pay back taxes, meet their responsibilities. that bill's already passed the senate. and economists estimate if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5% larger two decades from now. that's $1.4 trillion in new economic growth. the majority of americans think this is the right thing to do. and it's sitting there waiting for the house to pass it. now, if the house has ideas on how to improve the senate bill, let's hear them. let's start the negotiations. but let's not leave this problem to keep festering for another year or two years or three years. this can and should get done by the end of this year. number three, we should pass a farm bill, one that american farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in time of
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need, one that gives rural communities the opportunities to row. again, the senate has passed a solid bipartisan bill. it's got support from democrats and republicans. it's sitting in the house waiting for passage. if house republicans have ideas hat they think would improve the farm bill, let's see them. let's negotiate. what are we waiting for? let's get this done. so passing a budget, immigration reform, farm bill, those are three specific things that would make a huge difference in our economy right now and we could get them done by the end of the year. if our focus is on what's good
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for the american people. and that's just the big stuff. there are all kinds of other things we could be doing that don't get as much attention. i understand, we will not suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed. democrats and republicans are far apart on a lot of issues, and i recognize there are folks on the other side who think that my policies are misguided. that's putting it mildly. that's ok. that's democracy. that's how it works. we can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith through the normal democratic process. and sometimes we'll be just too far apart to forge an agreement, but that should not hold back our efforts in areas where we do agree.
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we shouldn't fail to act on areas that we do agree or could agree just because we don't think it's good politics. just because the extremes in our party don't like the word compromise. i will look for willing partners wherever i can to get important work done. and there's no good reason why we can't govern responsibly. despite our differences. without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. in fact, one of the things that i hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective
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government is important, it matters. i think the american people during this shutdown had a chance to get some idea of all the things, large and small, that government does that make a difference in people's lives. we hear all the time about how government is the problem. well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways. not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in carrying for our seniors nd our veterans. educating our kids. making sure our workers are trained for the jobs in a are being created. arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies rom other countries. it plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.
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it helps folks rebuild after a storm. it conserves our natural resources, it finances startups. it helps sell our products overseas. it provides security to our iplomats abroad. so let's work together to make government work better. instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it ork worse. that's not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government. you don't like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. go out there and win an election. push to change it but don't reak it. don't break what our predecessors spent over two
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enturies building. that's not being faithful to what this country's about. and that brings me to one last point. i've got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who worked without pay or been forced off the job without pay, including most of my own staff. thank you. thanks for your service. welcome back. what you do is important. it matters. you defend our country overseas. you deliver benefits to our troops who've earned them when they come home. you guard our borders. you protect our civil rights. you help businesses grow and gain foot holds in overseas markets. you protect the air we breathe
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and the water our children drink and you push the boundaries of science and space and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. thank you. what you do is important. don't let anybody else tell you different. especially the young people who ome to this city to serve. believe that it matters. well, you know what, it does. and those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can. and we come from different parties, but we are americans first. that's why disagreement cannot ean dysfunction. it can't degenerate into hatred. the american people's hopes and
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dreams are what matters, not ours. our obligations are to them. our regard for them compels us all, democrats and republicans, to cooperate and compromise and act in the best interests of our ation. one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thanks very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] >> coming up on the next "washington journal" adam green talks about the future of the progressive movement. then a look at the future of the tea party following the deal that reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling.
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"washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> friday remarks by actor and gay rights activist. you can see this event live starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> every weekend since 1998 c-span2's book tv has shown programming with top non-fiction authors. >> i thought wow, that is the answer. if there were more women in politics, if there were more women in public life things would change. so i called my editor and said i'm going to write a book why women should rule the world and she said okay. >> all of us are subjected to pune ty taxes, being ignored by the elite media.
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not getting special help in washington, we're all in that same boat no matter what color we are and that's the real problem. -- 're the only >> defense department robert hagelest mates it cost $600 million in lost productivity. next he and talk about the end of the shutdown and the fiscal uncertainty facing the defense department. from the pentagon, this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon. wanted to make some brief comments this afternoon regarding the reopening of government.
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i'm going to take -- after i make a statement, a couple of questions, and then i'm going to ask bob hale, our comptroller, to take some questions regarding the specifics of the reopening. this morning, i announced that the department of defense is resuming operations now that congress has restored funding for dod and the rest of the federal government. while all of us across the department welcome the fact that the shutdown is now behind us, i know that its impact will continue to be felt by all of our people. all of them, in different ways, had their lives affected and disrupted during this period of tremendous uncertainty. in particular, i am deeply aware of the harm that this shutdown inflicted on so many of our civilian personnel. all of our leaders, civilian and
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military alike, deeply regret what this shutdown has done to our people, and we'll work to repair the damage beginning today. echoing what president obama said earlier today, i want all of our civilian personnel to know that the work they do is critically important to this department and this country. it matters to this department, and it matters for the country. the military simply cannot succeed without our civilian employees, and the president and i appreciate their professionalism and their patience throughout this very trying period. ow that this latest budget crisis has become history, and we have come to an end, we have an opportunity to return to refocusing on our critical work. ut it's important to note that
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congress did not remove the shadow of uncertainty that has been cast over this department and our government much of this year. like much of the rest of the government, dod is now operating on a short-term continuing resolution which limits our ability to start new programs, and the damaging cuts of sequestration remain the law of the land. in the months ahead, congress will have an opportunity to remove this shadow of uncertainty as they work to craft a balanced long-term spending bill. if this fiscal uncertainty continues, it will have an impact on our economy, our national security, and america's standing in the world. and if the sequester level continues, there will also be consequences. earlier this year, in our strategy choices and management review, dod explained how the continuation of these abrupt cuts put us at risk of fielding a force that is unprepared due to a lack of training, maintenance, and the latest
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equipment. dod has a responsibility to give america's elected leaders and the american people a clear-eyed assessment of what our military can and cannot do after years of sequester-level cuts. in the months ahead, we will continue to provide our best and most honest assessment as congress works to establish the nation's long-term spending priorities. that is my statement, and i'd be happy to respond to a couple questions. thank you. lita? >> mr. secretary, you mentioned consequences. as you look down the road -- i think mr. hale addressed this at one of his briefings -- there already are some reviews of how many civilians and how much force reduction overall there will have to be, reductions in force. can you talk a little bit about, as you look ahead, what are you warning congress and the country
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about in terms of the number of forces that you're going to have to cut in order to meet these lower budget levels, the number of civilians you may have to lay off? and what does that do to u.s. readiness and morale of your workforce? >> well, i'll leave the specific numbers to bob hale, but let me respond in a general way to your questions. let's start with the impact on morale. i don't think anyone questions that the uncertainty that shutting down the government and closing down people's jobs has brought a great amount of not only disruption to our government, to our country, but to their lives, to the civilian ersonnel whose lives have been disrupted by this particular
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hutdown. then you add further to that the uncertainty of no authorizations, no appropriations, and living in a world of continuing resolutions, of continuing sequestration, the uncertainty of planning, not just in an agency or a department, or certainly all the elements of the department of defense, but in personal lives. i mean, people have to have some confidence that they have a job that they can rely on. i know there are no guarantees in life, but we can't continue to do this to our people, having hem live under this cloud of uncertainty. so morale is a huge part of this. we won't be able to recruit good people. good people will leave the government. they're not going to put up with this. good people have many options. so that's one part of it.
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i have said many times, the chiefs have said, general dempsey has said over the last few months that as we have had to close down training facilities, and our training, we've had to stand down wings, and not allow many of our wings to fly, the steaming of our ships. we've had to pull back the longer-term investments that are required to keep the technological edge that this country has always had. i mean, these are all dimensions of sequestrations, of uncertainty, of not knowing or not being able to plan what's coming. sure, that adds to impact on our readiness, and, sure, that eventually will present capability issues for us. so these are not new issues. i've talked about them, general
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dempsey, all of our leaders, all of our chiefs have talked about them. that's part of the point the president has made, i have made continually through this process over the last few months. i noted again in a statement that we've got to have some certainty here of being able to go forward. we've got a qdr that you all are familiar with, that we're going through that review. we've got a budget resolution that we are preparing within this institution and within the white house budget that we will present a budget to congress, as we do each year. to try to plan for a budget with this kind of uncertainty alone, how are we going to fulfill our strategic commitments? what impact is this having overseas with our allies? i've been to, as many of you know -- some of you have been with me on these trips -- to the asia pacific area three times since i've been secretary of defense.
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secretary kerry was there recently. the president pulled his trip down last week because of the shutdown. our allies are asking questions, can we rely on our partnership with america? will america fulfill its commitments and its promises? these are huge issues for all of us, and they do impact our national security and our relationships and our standing in the world. so these are the broad general areas of consequences of not being able to plan and prepare because of that uncertainty that we're living under. the specific numbers, lita, i'll leave for bob hale. thom? >> thank you, sir. on the sequester moving ahead, you know, you spent a lot of time in the senate, you know how the hill works. you have a good sense of the american people. so in your current position, mr. secretary, is it your sense that
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the sequester-level cuts, those are the new reality, and rather than uncertainty, isn't that what you should be planning against, given congress's will, the will of the people? >> as you know, thom, everyone in this room knows that the so-called sequester, which is a product of the budget control act of 2011, is the law of the and. and we have to plan and prepare, to your point, with the facts as they are and the realities as they are. if you recall, when i implemented and directed the strategic management review and choices, which i noted in my comments here, it was to prepare this institution for different scenarios of different numbers, and certainly the numbers that we know are there that we have been living with this year reflected under sequestration are numbers that we've got to
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prepare for. we plan also for the continuing resolution numbers. and we plan also for our budget numbers. now, i don't know -- you started your question to me, thom, about my service in the senate -- i don't know if a compromise can be reached, if some kind of an agreement can be reached to deal with these issues. that's part of the uncertainty. so we have to plan for every eventuality here. and you can't take an institution like this, as you all know, because you've been around here a long time, and turn these things around in a month, in a week. this is the national security of america we're talking about.
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and so it does take thought and it does take planning -- we're talking about people's lives -- as we bring down and draw down by law our force structure. we know that, and we're planning for that. and you've heard me say many times, you've heard general dempsey say many times that the abruptness and the steepness of those cuts give us no flexibility to glide it down in a responsible way to make sure that our resources match our mission, our -- our mission matches our resources, and that we are able to fulfill the strategic interest of this country. >> one final question. >> mr. secretary, you spoke a minute ago about morale of the civilian workers at the department. are you at the point yet where you or general dempsey have concern about troop morale, given all of this? what indicators might concern you? and how are you watching that, given what you said about they're not being allowed to rain and to fly and all of
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that? are you now worried about the troops? >> we are always worried about the troops. the reason i noted the civilian personnel specifically is because the civilian personnel were the ones affected by the furloughs and the shutdown. as you know, our uniformed military was protected in that. but the same uncertainty, certainly, resides in the uniformed military community, different dimension of it, of course, but questions i get all the time from our junior enlisted, from our officer corps, from our senior officer corps, future, i get -- what is the future for me as an e-5, starting a family, for example? and i got these questions two eeks ago when i had my monthly luncheon with junior enlisted members of our services.
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i get these questions all the time. mr. secretary, can you give me an honest answer -- in one case last week, two weeks ago, i had one service member say, my wife asked me to ask you, do i have a uture? do we have a future? and these are young men and women who are very proud to be in the military, want to stay in the military. they have a purpose to their lives serving in the military. ut they also have to ask the question, when you're 25 or 30 years old, if you have a family, you want to start a family, can i support that family? i mean, what kind of a future am i giving my family if i'm not sure where all this is going? so, yes, it affects our uniformed military. yes, we are vitally concerned about the morale of our military. but the civilian workforce are he ones that have been
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obviously touched directly by the shutdown and, of course, the furloughs that we've seen this year. thank you. and bob hale will respond to more specific questions you've got. bob. >> well, good afternoon. let me just start by joining the secretary in thanking our civilian workforce, all of our workers, but especially our civilians for their patience through this. and i'd add the senior commanders and managers have helped me a great deal as i work to help the department get through this. so when i read the omb message about 2:30 this morning saying government was reopened, i felt like i could stop beating my head against a wall, but i got to say it would have felt a lot better never to have started beating my head against a wall. so with that, i'll stop and -- if you have questions. >> i wonder if there is any estimate of what costs the department of defense incurred as a result of the shutdown, including the -- you know, the workers at the beginning who were not working and that money was wasted. is there any cost estimate? >> well, we know at a minimum there are about $600 million of
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lost productivity, if you will, from at that point almost 400,000 civilians that we had on furlough for four days. there were a number of other costs where i can't put a number on them. we built up interest payments because we were forced to pay vendors late. we had to cancel training classes, so we had to bring the people home on orders and then send them right back again. so there were a lot of costs of those sort. i can't quantify those, but it's at least the $600 million to start with in essentially lost productivity. >> can you just take a stab at the layoff and attrition -- >> the layoffs? >> the layoffs that are coming down the road and reductions in force? >> well, you know, he said he'd defer to bob hale. bob hale is going to defer to the future, because we haven't decided. but, look, if we face budgets at the bca cap level, roughly $50 billion less in 2014, we're going to have to get
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smaller. i can't tell you exactly how much. yes, that will mean fewer civilians. we will try to avoid reductions in force. we'll keep them at an absolute minimum. we would look to do this, if we have to, through attrition, but, yeah, we're going to get smaller. i just can't tell you exactly how much. >> mr. hale, you've had an entire couple of hours to pull your numbers together. do you have any idea yet of the impact of this on programs and the -- whether, you know, some testing's been delayed, that sort of thing, and also just the friction costs to both you and to the companies? >> well, we were relatively fortunate in the government. we had a partial appropriation. the pay our military act was in appropriation, so we kept -- except for that first four days, most of our civilians working, all of our military. i think that limited the disruption, but it was there. i'm sure we delayed testing, though i can't quantify it for you. my guess is that we will be able
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to catch up reasonably quickly for those kinds of delays, backlogs of vouchers we haven't paid. i'm a lot more worried about the morale effects on all of our people, but especially our civilians. and you've heard that story, but i think we all are concerned. i mean, it's not just this event. i mean, we've had three years of pay freezes, although i noted the cr did not prohibit the -- or either the military or civilian pay raise, so -- so far, it's still in place. we've had three years of pay freezes. we had the sequester furloughs, now the shutdown furloughs. i mean, my own people are kind of looking at me and asking the question -- most of them are seniors, so they'll probably stick around, but you wonder what the folks out in the field are saying. "i'm not so sure i want to work for this government." so we need some stability, and we need to keep telling them they're important, and then we need to show it, through things like pay raises and no more furloughs, et cetera. that's the bigger concern to me. >> do you know of any new starts that are being delayed because of the cr? >> oh, yes. i mean, the cr will delay -- well, now you're going to test
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my memory. i can see the sheet. i can't remember. so i'm going to have to get back to you. i don't want to name something that's wrong. there are no huge ones, but there are a number of smaller programs that under the continuing resolution we are not allowed to do new starts, rate increases, no military -- new military construction projects. perhaps one of the biggest problems is the fact that we essentially required under the cr to buy the same ships this year as last year, because congress appropriates by ship, and we have to repeat last year. it's a groundhog day approach to budgeting. so there are lots of disruptions. i can't remember the specifics. they're not in my head. i'm sorry. >> mr. hale, is the likelihood of sequestration informing your recruitment numbers now, either for civilian or for uniformed members? and wouldn't the responsible thing be to be slowing down in that recruitment so that you don't have to let people go who will only just -- >> right. we're going to start executing
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at the continuing resolution level or a little lower, because of the enormous uncertainty and the possibility that equestration in january, if it occurs, could take us down to the bca cap level. nd, yes, i think that will cause us to begin to reduce or think in terms of reduced size and reduced recruiting. you're exactly right. i mean, we don't want to -- on one hand, we don't want to commit ourselves in this period too much in a period of enormous uncertainty in case we are able to do things we think that are important, but we do need to slow down. and we will slow down our execution, at least to the cr level, and probably a little bit south of that, just because there's so much uncertainty. we're only three weeks into the fiscal year, and we're still kind of plus or minus $50 billion in what we're going to spend this fiscal year. that's not a comfortable position, particularly for our comptroller. so it's a challenge. >> excuse me. so have there been orders issued
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to the components and the services to spend at the bca level? and, secondly, with the cr, is there the kind of flexibility in moving money around in accounts that you need to cope with sequestration. >> i mean, we haven't issued any formal orders. we've discussed with the services to execute at the continuing resolution level and maybe somewhat south of it. and we'll have to work with them on specifics as time develops. hat was your second question again? i got -- > about flexibility. >> yeah, flexibility. no, i mean, we have very little flexibility under continuing resolution. it gives us money in budget accounts, like air force procurement and army active o&m. it just gives us a dollar figure and says that you can't do new starts, no rate increases, no new military construction projects, and you get then a little more than 25% of it to cover october 1 through january 15. beyond that, though, we've got to kind of be looking at the fact eventually we'll get some kind of appropriations, so we need to be careful on where we spend that money, and we can't
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move between those accounts at all. and generally we aren't allowed to reprogram when we're under continuing resolution. so for a while, we kind of have to hold our breath and try to look to the future and be as conservative as you can. if that's a vague answer, it's because things are kind of vague. it's not a good way to run a ailroad. >> going back to the secretary's comments regarding his doubts on congress reaching some sort of compromise, is there anything that can be said that hasn't been said already by the department to convince lawmakers that, you know, this cliff is coming? or is it just a matter of continuing to sort of beat the drum on the dangers of sequestration? >> you mean that can be said to sort of help the process along? i mean, we'll be helpful in any way we can. we'll work through the administration. the president has a plan. he enunciated -- announced it with a budget, in terms of a plan to reduce the deficit and to provide for discretionary spending, which is the level we submitted the budget at.
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we certainly support that plan. we understand there's going to be negotiations, and we'll help them in any way we can. i don't think there's any one thing we can do, but we stand ready to assist through omb and the administration to help the negotiators any way we can. we want them to succeed. >> tuition assistance, g.i. bill, what happens with that going forward? what's the situation now? >> i mean, i assume -- we will, i think, pay tuition assistance. g.i. bill is funded in another agency, but the tuition assistance we will pay, i think more or less at the levels that were programmed. i mean, we're not planning to cut it back substantially. now, we continue to look at it in the context of overall budget reductions. and there may be some trims, but we know it's an important program, and we won't stop it, and we will continue to fund it. there may have been some temporary interruptions during the shutdown, but we'll continue
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to support the program. we know it's important to our people. >> mr. hale, you've had a chance to look, i think, at all the services' initial 15 proposals nd their alternate proposals with sequestration. how much of, i guess, of an "oh, wow" factor is there in the alternate proposals, in your opinion, sir? >> well, i mean, there are far-reaching changes. it shouldn't be surprising when you take about $50 billion in fiscal 2015. and there were some funds that were taken out right at the end game by the president. the president proposed some cuts in discretionary spending, as well, in that budget package that we didn't fully accommodate, so pretty good-sized reductions. there are force cuts. i mean, i'm not going to give you specifics, because i don't feel i should, but i'm not surprised. and you saw the scmr, and it's often usually in those ranges, within the ranges of the scmr. i'm not surprised.
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but i think all of us are aware that it will be a somewhat different, smaller military if we have to go through with those cuts. but we are looking at them actively. and we will be as prepared as we can, within the limits of time that we have, to be ready for a wide range of contingencies, because we know that's what we face. >> last question from thom shanker. >> thanks. in past years, it's been the business practice of this department, as you approach the end of the fiscal year, to hold some money back. ou obviously don't want to overspend your budget accidentally. i'm just curious how many tens of millions or hundreds did you end the year with? and can you now apply that money in some way to mitigate the strain? >> well, there are several kinds of money we get. a number of the operating dollars, military personnel and operations and maintenance, expire, those you can't spend them after september 30. it will tell you something about the real-time nature of our accounting systems that i don't
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now yet for sure what we obligated. ut i think that we will have obligated the great majority of those funds. we usually try to. other funds that -- investment ones, we get two years for rtd&e, three years for procurement. and there i think you would see our obligation rates fairly low right now for a couple reasons, uncertainty, but also, frankly, i mean, our contracting officers were concentrating heavily on the one-year money in those last days. and we had had to cut back on them because of sequestration. so my guess is, we've pretty well obligated, though i don't know for sure on the operating accounts. i think that's not true on the investment accounts. and there are some -- we'll try to pick up the pace as best we can. and let's hope there's no further disruption that occurs in january. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> friday the group america insurance plans continues its conference on the implementation
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of the healthcare law. you can see it live at 8:45 astern on c-span2. >> c-span student cam video competition asks what's the most important issue congress should consider in 2014. make a five to seven minute documentary and include c-span video. the competition is open to all middle and high school students for the grand prize of $5,000. nd this year we've doubled the total number of winners and prizes. >> another look at the government shutdown with house minority leader nancy pelosi. she spoke with reporters for 25 minutes. >> good afternoon.
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e had to reschedule because of the president's statement this morning, which i think was quite an excellent one. i take such pride in our president and i take pride in my house democrats who last night voted 100% to open government and to end the default of our full faith and credit. ast night, and america had endured 16 days of a shutdown. the bill came to the floor, 9:20, the rule was dispensed with, and it was over by 9:56. the bill was sent to the president. in less than 45 minutes, less than 40 minutes, government was pen.
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this could have happened three weeks ago. three weeks ago, i said to the speaker, we will give you the votes. lease do not shut down the government. take up the senate bill. we will give you the votes to pass it. over and over again, on october 2, on the steps of the capitol, 200 members signed. we have the members of 200 members, 100% of the house democratic caucus chair that we would support the republican number, a number that we did not like, a number which the republican chairman of the appropriations committee said does not need the needs of the american people. to avoid a shutdown of government, we were willing to accept it. later in that day, the white house made the commitment, publicly on the steps of the capitol, in writing, to the speaker come in front of the president of the united states,
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ut they said no. they cannot take yes for an answer. over and over again, we kept bringing up the motion to accept the senate number. over and over again, republicans said no. the senate number is the house republicans number. they offered it to senator reid. enator reid accepted it, knowing it was a bad number, but a path to negotiations. the president accepted the number. the house never accepted the house republicans number. the only people not accepting where the house republicans, the republican house members. why do i go back to that? because 16 days, 16 days the government was closed down. whatever that means, families, workers furloughed, disrespect for the federal workforce, many of whom are veterans, many of the large number of the workforce are veterans.
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i do not know whether republican members of the caucus do not know or do not care about the onsequences of their actions. i have to assume they do care. so now i hope they will know, do not take it for me, standard & poor's says today the shutdown has shaved at least .6% off of nnualized 2013 gdp growth. in other words, $24 billion out f the economy. was their temper tantrum worth $24 billion? i'm just meeting with someone who was telling they had a direction in their state to not process any food stamp cards for children in that particular
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state. this was the other day. he shutdown is over, that will go forward. the people were not going to be able to eat. it was that fundamental. so again, on september 30, we agreed to accept their number. on october 2, we offered it. on october 5, it was unprecedented, we would forgo that right to remove their fear f their members having to vote on something on the floor. but it took 16 days for the speaker to finally take yes for an answer. this is irresponsible. no -- this is reckless. this is reckless. and then to see last night, 62%
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of the house republicans voted gainst their own number, voted against opening up government, and voted against ending the default of our full faith and credit. what was squandered during that time, only quantitatively measured in terms of its lowering our gdp growth, jeopardizing credit our rating, it eroded consumer and investor confidence. it also diminished confidence in government -- in governance, in overnance. do they know how irresponsible it was? i do not know. i am pleased that we showed the unanimity to end the conversation, to avoid the
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default, to open government, and all of the american people said it was time to start this and start government. they may not like government, the republicans, but they are here to govern and to legislate, which means you have to make compromises and choose instead of going for manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. all democrats, i am so proud of them, all of them, 100% of democrats, voted on that resolution, not that they accepted the number, and as i said to them, not on the merits of the legislation, because the number is too low to meet the needs of the people, and the time for lifting the debt ceiling for ending default is too short. nonetheless, it is a path, and while it has little in terms of merit, it gives a great deal i believe in terms of hope that we can go to the table and have this negotiation about what a budget should be for our country, and i am very pleased that we have our team, our leader, jim clyburn, the ranking
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member on the budget committee, chris van hollen, and the anking member on the appropriation committee representing the values of our country with the charge from our caucus to grow the economy, create jobs, reduce the deficit, in a responsible way as we go forward. now, what i would hope would happen is do they know, do they care? let's assume they can. as an appropriator, in the congress of the united states, orking in a bipartisan way and where you have most of the time agreement, but in disagreement, we said let's stipulate to a number, to a set of facts. and what seems to me missing now in their caucus is that a respect for facts.
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it is like a data-free zone. they do not know about this. who said that? they are in a data-free zone? also the preparations we make should be evidenced-based. what is it that we get for this, what is it that is not working, based on evidence, documented evidence, as to what works? we have an expression in appropriations -- the plural of anecdote is not data. i heard about -- i heard something else. let's get the facts. when we go to this table, we have a golden opportunity to have evidence-based data-supported information and intelligence for us to be able to make decisions. for example, i said most economists would agree that the single most important way to reduce the deficit -- no, let me say it another way -- nothing brings more money to the treasury than the education of the american people. early childhood, k-12, lifetime learning for our workforce,
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nothing brings more money in han education. when they are going to cut education, for example, pell grants, they said we can cut pell grants, they are not only oing a disservice to those people, their aspirations, but hey are increasing the deficit. it is a false economy. we should subject every dollar spent to the harshest scrutiny. is it working for the purpose as accepted, and for many of those who have been on the initiatives on some of agendas that helps lifting people up, we want that to work? we want that to work. we are as critical and put as sharp an eye as anyone on
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that. it has to be about data, about science, science. he had four words to describe hich dominated the table for our domestic agenda, for our national agenda, it would be science, science, science, and science. science -- that means knowledge, data, evidence, about how the air we breathe, water we drink him about how we grow the economy, and that is about investments in science and technology. it is about the health of our country's investments in the life sciences, national institutes of health. science is an answer to our prayers, but for some reason some in their caucus think it is one or the other, science or faith -- no, no, and science to
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defend our country with the best technology possible. so when we say we are not going to invest in education and we are going to reduced our investments in the national science of foundation and national institutes of health, we are doing a great disservice to our country. in every way, evidence, science, data, let's know what we are talking about. we would all say we can proceed down this path if we all stipulate to a number. did they know about this umber? probably not. because if they knew about it, they would certainly care about t. are they in denial? are they just ignoring the facts? we will find out, but we owe it to the american people to put all that aside and to do what is best.
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and so again, our founders had such a vision for our country. the sacrifice of our troops, the aspirations of our children. to go into that room with knowledge about what the decisions are and that could be driven by an anti-government ideology that says whatever it s i do not like it because i'm here to limit government. we do not want any more government than we need, but some of those imitations of government are limitations on the aspirations of the american people. they do not reduce the deficit. we look forward to going to that table, but it is important for eople to know what the terms are as we go forward, and the one thing that might be a minor
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enefit, not worth the trouble, but nonetheless, i benefit from what is happened is that the sharpened awareness of the fact that this will take place at the table, that hopefully there will we believe the budget, the house democrats have put forth, and the senate democrats, and the president, is values based, about the future of our country in terms of investments and education, sensibly reducing the deficit, as we create jobs for all americans who want to work hard, pay by the rules, and achieve the second dream. with that, i will be pleased to take any questions. >> the enrollment of the affordable care act. it started the same day at the shutdown. i wonder if you think about the rollout so far and what you think is a reasonable amount of time to fix problems?